"Gifts From The Heart" Annual Event To Be Held At Masonic Temple In Sidney Sat., Dec. 9

Area volunteers will be holding the annual “Gifts from the Heart” event at the Masonic Temple, Sidney, on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 7 a.m.-noon. “Gifts from the Heart”, formally Christmas Coalition, is a program set up for people who feel they can’t afford Christmas for their children.

The community donated all brand-new and unopened items for attendees to come Christmas shop at no cost. Each child shopped for will receive a hat and mittens. Reusable bags are filled with everything a family would need for Christmas dinner; including a $15 meat voucher from Reynolds for you to choose a turkey or ham. There are only two rules: the child or children (0-18) must live with the shopper, and they must live within Richland County. Jakkie Waller, “Gifts from the Heart” chairman said, “We don’t have a lot of rules because we leave that to the Lord.”

The community-oriented event has been going on for around 30 years and is put on by volunteers from many different parts of the community and walks of life. Waller said, “Our motto is ‘From the community, for the community, back into the community’”. At the beginning of November, toy drops were set up at all four Sidney Edwards Jones offices, Jessica Cayko’s Thrivent Financial office, MiMi’s Kitchen, Meraki, Electricland, Rouge llc, MT Bare Cave, and Michele Herres’ State Farm office. In Fairview, there were drops set up at Neu’s SuperValu and Fairview Alliance Church. A.B.A.T.E. brings in toys and West Side Elementary, Sidney, also held a food drive for the event. The money for the meat vouchers was donated by an anonymous donor. Hat and mitten drives were done at all financial establishments in Fairview and Sidney. Area youth groups come in and volunteer to help set up, sort food, and whatever is needed, while three or four of the yearly volunteers have been doing it since the beginning. After the event, members of the Mormon Church come to help tear it down. Any baby items not claimed at the event will be donated to the Sunrise Women’s Clinic, food goes to community members in need who were not able to attend, puzzles go to the Crestwood, the Boy’s & Girls Clubs of the MonDak gets what they can use for school age kids, and the rest goes to the Salvation Army. Financial donations may still be given at Stockman Bank or by contacting Jakkie Waller at 406-480-9117 and new, unwrapped items may be dropped off at the Masonic Temple, Dec. 8, from noon-6 p.m.

Local flyers about the event mention gift baskets for seniors but are talking about a separate event to be held Dec. 14 at the Richland County Food Bank.


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